Wednesday, June 20, 2012

S'more Pops

     My grandma knows that I love baking and stuff, and she goes shopping a lot, so she likes to keep me in mind.  The other day on one of her outings she saw a little kit for S'mores on a stick.  I thought it was a pretty cute idea, so I gave them a shot.

The box looks like this, and when I opened it up there was four little bags, one with 12 marshmallows, 12 lollipop sticks, and some crushed up gram cracker crumbs, and a couple ounces of candy melts.  At this point I'm thinking, 'this is really handy, everything in one box.'  But I soon found out that I was off.
     Way off.

     To start things off, it was a nightmare melting down those candy melts, for some reason it seized all up on me, and the pan I melted it was bone-dry!  I was able to bring it back to life with some butter and oil but still!  And in the mean time I stuck all the marshmallows with their sticks, that wasn't too bad.

After that, it was pretty simple, you dip the marshmallows in the chocolate and and then the gram cracker crumbs.  And that's what I did, I must say when i was done they looking pretty darn cute!  Of course, that was before Timmy tried one.....but here is what they looked like halfway through.


     So here they are in all their glory, for future references don't use this product.  It's a REALLY great idea, but the chocolate tasted bad, and the 'gram cracker crunch' wasn't too crunchy, it was kind of stale.  Your better off buying some good chocolate, and and a name brand gram crackers and crushing those up yourself.  It would probably be a bit cheaper too.  So 1 out of ten (1bening the worst and ten the best) I'd give these guys a......4.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Apple Pie Bites

     These are sort of like turnovers, except with my own little twist on them.  there is no crimping with a fork involved so they go a lot faster.  Also, there is a sweet dipping glaze to top off everything at the end.  I thing that is really what puts these little guys over the edge.  Oh I almost forgot to say, before you make these you need to half a pie crust recipe prepared already.  Frozen or fresh will work just fine here.

Ahead of time I cut, peeled, and cored 3 large Gala apples and then to that I added, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and lemon juice.

Just mix it all around so that the sugar ans spices are evenly spread out like this.  Now put this in the fridge for about.....45 minutes to an hour so some of the liquid from the apples come off a little bit, and so the spices will have time to get cozy.

Roll out your pie dough pretty thin, and find something in your house that is a round shape and is large enough for the apple slices.  Some ideas are glasses, cans a small bowl whatever works.  Once you cut it out, just tug on the sides a little bit so it becomes a more oval-ish shape.

At this point you want to place one apple chunk (or two, depending one the size) in the center of the pie dough.

 Pull one side over like this.  But please be careful not to pull to tightly, the pie dough is very delicate and it will tare easily!

And now pull over the other side.  It kind of looks like a little hotdog!  Press in the seam of the dough very gently to seal the sides shut.

Now fold up the corners as if you are folding up a little present.  place one a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Reapet with the rest of the apples.

                       Once you finished brush the tops with milk so they will brown up nicely.

Sprinkle, sprinkle ( I'll tell you what that is later!)

Remember how I had you put the apples in the fridge for a while?  This is what happens when you do!  It's a lovely spicy-sweet apple flavored dipping sauce.  Just throw this on the burner in a pan and thicken it slightly with some cornstarch.  It's amazing!

Once they are baked the sugar topping browns, and the apples cook but stay a little firm.  Ans as i said before, this dipping sauce really puts them over the top.

Apple Pie Bites:

3 Gala apples peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 c. sugar, plus extra for topping
1/2 tsp. cinnamon, plus extra for topping
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
dash of salt
Prepared pie dough

Mix all of the ingredients (except the dough) in a bowl, and mix.  Place in the fridge for 45 minutes.  In the meantime roll out the pie dough and cut into round circles about 4-5 inches in diameter. Take the apples out of the fridge, strain off the juice in the bottom and set aside.  Put one apple in the middle of one dough round, and fold one end and then the other and over the other.  Crimp the sides and edges lightly with your fingers and place one a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Repeat until all are complete.  Brush all of the apple pies with milk and sprinkle with the extra sugar and cinnamon.  Bake one 425 for about 15 minuets or until the pie dough is golden brown and the sugar/cinnamon is crispy.  serve warm with the spiced glaze.    

Halfway Healthy Banana Muffins

     This is my mothers recipe that I tweaked.  I guess somewhere in the internet she read how bad white flour is for you, so she is hoping to cut it out of our diets completely. But until then I changed a few recipes of mine using some whole wheat flour instead of white.  So as a compromise, I did a half and half mixture.

                            In the bowl here we have bananas, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Mix!! 

                        This stuff smells sooo bad ( I hate bananas particularly when they are this ripe.)  At this point you can add chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, or any other type of dried fruit.   

 Now right here is that 50/50 flour mixture I was telling you about before.  If you want to go all the way with whole wheat flour. Feel free, it's up to you.

                This makes about 1 dozen cupcake size muffins.  I'm only showing you half of them here.  I must say, for some reason the whole wheat flour in this recipe makes the crowns one these muffins wonderfully round,  They are very pretty once they come out.

                                           See?  I really love the dark brown one these....

Halfway Healthy Banana Muffins:

2 large bananas, very ripe
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon 
3/4 c. whole wheat flour & 3/4 c. white flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
     Mix the bananas, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl until everything is combined.  Mix in the flour, salt and baking soda until everything is just mixed together.  Line your cupcake tins with cupcake liners and fill them with the batter 2/3 the way full.  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until they are springy to the touch.  Let cool on racks and enjoy.  Store in air tight container to keep fresh and moist. 

Easy Zucchini bread.

This is and all time fav. on my house.  My grandpa has a garden, and he grows a TON of stuff and zucchini just happens to be one of the many.  So in the summertime when we are over run with his veggies, I like to grate these up and freeze them in the portions that I need.  It's super easy, and you can have it all year round.  What I love about this recipe is that it's fast and very easy.  It's one of those recipes that doubles well (I doubt you'll need to) but it can be done.  Here it goes!

Here are the eggs, cinnamon, sugar, zucchini, vanilla extract, and oil.  your going to want to mix everything together until it's all combined (ie you don't want any chunks of egg whites floating around in there.  That's nasty)

Hopefully, you want it to look something along the lines of this.  If it doesn't, you might want to try again.

 Now you are going to want to add your flour, baking soda, and your salt, and mix until combined.  Don't over mix cause that will make it tough, but you don't want lumps in it either.  Somewhere in between.

                                                                  Just like this......

 Here is a really great tip for all of your bread recipes, once you pour the batter into the pans put a light layer of sugar over the top so it looks like this, and also it will produce a light flake on the top crust.  But if you use this recipe for lets say.... a cake, you don't want to do that otherwise it will be a nightmare trying to keep all of the flakiness out of your icing or whatever. I really hope you guys like this one!

Easy Zucchini  bread:

2 c. sugar
1c. light olive oil ( you HAVE to use light!)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1tsp. salt

     Mix eggs, zucchini, vanilla, sugar, and oil in a large bowl.  One the eggs are thoroughly incorporated ( as well as all the other stuff.) Mix in the flour,salt and baking soda.  Bake in two greased bread pans ( don't forget to sprinkle on the sugar!) on 350 for about 45-55 minuets.  Once they are done, take them out of the pans and let cool for an hour or so on two cooling racks.


     To make Pumpkin Bread add 1-1/2c. pureed pumpkin instead of zucchini, and also add 1-1/2 T. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger, 1/8 tsp. cloves.  Bake as directed above.